Warrior Chef Redemption: Round 6

Tadashi: @I feel good about winning the last elimination challenge, but going into this round, I don’t know what to expect. @Phung was on the bottom of the last challenge because she didn’t bother cooking. @That’s honestly not a good habit to have, because every challenge should be an opportunity to keep improving and practicing under these high-stress situations.

Phung: @I’m going to win this round. @I can sense it. @My Phung senses are tingling. @I’m not going to win just one challenge. @I’m winning both. @And when my Phung senses are tingling, that means that I’m going to be 100% correct.

Jessica: Welcome back! So for tonight’s creativity challenge, we want to see you guys prepare a delicious… deep-fried dish.

Amanda: @I hear the words deep-fried, and I’m just worried. @Frier oil is tricky to work with, and we only have one deep frier in the kitchen, and I do not want to fight over it if I do not have to.

Jessica: Immunity is off the table from this point on. However, the winner will receive $2,500! You have just 25 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Tadashi: @I immediately think about tempura, and that’s just what I’m going to do tonight. @I’m making a tempura of shiso leaves with hondashi and some fried uni and geoduck as well. @After winning the last elimination challenge, I want to keep that momentum going and stay on top for as many challenges as possible.

Amanda: @At this point, everyone left except for Nate has made the finale before. @Everyone except for Jo is a strong competitor, so making it back to the final three for me, it’s going to be a major challenge. @For my dish tonight, I’m going with fried liver and onions with a lemon-caper cream. @I think it’s a clever play on an American classic, and it’ll deliver on flavor.

Kira: @Amanda’s big competition, for sure. @Out of everyone left in her season, she got the furthest, and she’s been really strong. @I’m thinking about deep fried foods, and immediately, I think about fries. @But I can’t just make fries on their own. @I decide to prepare pomme souffles with a haddock bagna cauda to play off of fish and chips. @Pomme souffles are puffed up potato chips, generally made  by pressing together two slices of potato. @I think it’ll be interesting and a lot more technically challenging.

Phung: @I’m in love with this challenge. @I’m making confit potatoes with confit pork belly and fried oysters, all with a spicy tomato relish. @I’m used to using oil. @I see that Kira and Tadashi are both going for the deep fryer, so I’m going to use the oil in a pot on my own station instead. @I’m going to win this one. @I know I’m going to win, because for some goddam reason, I always win challenges with weird, ghetto influences on them this season.

Nate: @I’m somewhat stoked about this challenge. @Being a former fat kid, I used to love shoving fries into my face. @I decide to prepare fried asparagus to go over an asparagus soup, and then for fun, I’m also breading and deep frying a soft boiled egg. @I’m going to garnish the dish with parmesan-truffle fricco. @I’m not going to let the deep frying portion of the challenge outweigh my fine-dining style of plating.
Jo: @I’m going to make fries with balsamic-onion ketchup. @I’m cooking my fries three times to make sure that they are perfect, and I’m tossing them in garlic, parsley, and cheese to finish them off. @Out of everyone here, I think that Amanda’s going to be the one going home next. @She’s much weaker than the rest of us.

Amanda: @I honestly don’t get Jo’s deal. @He keeps saying that I’m weak, but he’s been on the bottom of almost everything. @I don’t get why he insists that I’m the one going home tonight.

Nate: @Jo picks on Amanda a lot, and I think that’s just showing how…. immature he can be. @But Amanda should also just ignore him. @She’s better than that.

Tadashi: @Seeing how the other competitors interact, it’s interesting. @Since I’ve been the only one left from my original season for a while, I’ve been focusing entirely on the food. @But Jo, Nate, and Amanda, those three are like children, and it’s not okay in any kitchen. @They just bicker, and that will affect their dishes’ quality.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Phung: I crushed this bitch! @I know I won. @Hands down, I won. @My pork belly, it tasted bomb as fuuuuuck.

Jessica: Your judge for this challenge is house critic, Guy Flannigan!

Guy: Hi, everyone! I’m stoked to be judging this challenge, because I love pub food.
Jessica and Guy taste the dishes.

Jessica: So Guy, how did they do overall?
Guy: Nobody really disappointed tonight. For my favorite dishes, I had three. Nate, you made a beautiful dish but still held true to the challenge. I loved the soup and the flavors worked together. Kira, the dish was clever, and it was simple, yet really well executed. I loved the pomme souffles a lot. And finally, Phung. Your confit potatoes and pork belly were excellent, while the oysters were well fried, and the tomato relish tied it all together. I was impressed.

Jessica: And who won?

Guy: Three incredible dishes, but the best was made by… Phung. That pork belly, I will be dreaming of it tonight, the way the skin crunched and the fat melted in your mouth.

Phung: Blam! @I got the win again, and it just shows that I am a strong, strong chef in this competition. @Nobody can take me down.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung! You won $2,500!

Phung: Thank you, thank you! @I’m going to blow the wad at the spa. @This bitch needs a mani-pedi right about now.

Nate: Damn it. @Phung is on fire and there’s like no stopping this girl. @I just want to see Phung get sent home.

Tadashi: @I honestly did not know what to expect out of Phung. @I saw her season before coming back to compete, and she was winning almost every challenge, but knowing that she has no professional cooking background, that’s what makes her such a wildcard to me.

Jessica: And now for the elimination challenge! Tonight, we want to see you guys prepare a dish inspired by… your family. You have just 45 minutes, and your cooking time starts now!

Amanda: @I want to make another homage to my mother, because that won me the eel creativity challenge the last time I cooked. @She’s a successful businesswoman, but she still made time to teach me how to cook. @I’m going to make a French classic, ratatouille, with some crostoli and a 63 degree egg. @I’m doing the crostoli and egg as a reference to breakfast, the first thing she taught me, while ratatouille is something my mother made for me a lot growing up.                   

Phung: @My family, we are a party bunch. @My parents are more than down to pass the tequila shots. @For my dish, I’m making drunken noodles with clams, chicken, cilantro, and lime. @I’m going to nail this dish tonight and I’m making my own noodles, but that’s standard for PhungFood. @I’m going to use the tequila to make my noodles drunk as fuck. @Nobody is going to beat me tonight. @I’m gunning for my second win in a row, because I feel like it.

Nate: @My family is Chinese, so I need to prepare a Chinese dish. @I’m going to make Peking duck baos with leeks, hoisin sauce, and far-far. @I’m making the hoisin sauce and bao from scratch, and for the duck, I’m going to blanch the whole duck in oil, then roast them on skewers in the oven to keep them from getting greasy. @I want to win the challenge. @I’ve been on top a lot lately, but I keep coming in second place. @Like, come on. @I’m a winner. @I swear!

Tadashi: @I’m half Japanese and half American. @I’m a bit nervous about this challenge because when I think of family, I think about how my parents did not want me to do this career and how we would argue a lot about it. @I need to figure out what I can do that is inspired by them, but without any of those bad memories. @I decide on doing something with influences of California and Japan. @I’m making crispy rice cake with cucumber and crab salad, avocado mousse, and a basil ice.

Jo: @I’m from SoCal, and I was raised on Asian food. @I’m going to make noodles with shiitake braised chicken and a ginger-chicken broth. @My biggest skill is that I make food that is comforting and that people want to eat. @That’s why I am not going to be sent home, ever. @My flavors are strong, and the judges can only ever ding me on creativity or presentation.

Kira: @I’m Filipino but raised in San Francisco for my entire life. @I’m feeling good about my odds going into this challenge because I can make something epic. @I’m making coconut flan with soy caramel tuile, peanut ice cream, and coconut-peanut streusel. @I’m making a dessert, and looking down the stations, nobody else is doing that. @I might be able to stand out because I’m taking a huge risk here.

Tadashi: @Kira’s making a dessert, and considering how the only strong pastry cooks were eliminated really early on, that’s a huge risk on her part. @If she can nail this like how I think she can, she’s going to win the challenge!

Nate: @I’m tasting everything. @I do not want my sauce to be gross or for the dish as a whole to come off as greasy because of the duck. @I’m blanching the duck first in water, then deep frying it because I do not have time to properly roast it in the oven. @I’m scared, because it’s a huge risk and the texture of my duck might be compromised entirely from this.

Phung: @Nate looks stressed, and this is why I dubbed him my gorgeous bitch. @He pulls that shit out of his ass at the last second and always comes through. @Jo is the weakest link here, and I think he’s going to be sent home next.

Jessica: Time’s up!

Amanda: @I managed to get everything onto the plate, but I don’t know if this dish was well-thought out. @If I go home now, it’s going to be an all-Asian final five, and that would be…. very interesting to see. @It’s just funny to think that the white chick is the minority in this competition!

Jessica: Your judges are:

Erwin Ko

Aster Walker

Miriam Adjanti

Jessica: Let’s start with the dishes by Phung and Nate!
Phung – drunken noodles with clams, chicken, cilantro, and lime
Nate – Peking duck baos with leeks, hoisin sauce, and far-far

Miriam: Phung’s noodles were expertly made. I just loved the texture of those. The clams were excellently cooked, I felt her chicken was still tender and moist, while her usage of lime and cilantro was fantastic. Using tequila was a clever choice, but I do question her household rules, just a bit. Otherwise, this was textbook delicious.

Erwin: Nate’s baos were fluffy and light, the fact he made his own hoisin sauce shows that he knows how to balance flavors well. The duck itself, the skin was crispy, which is what makes the dish so addicting. Using far-far was clever as well.

Jessica: Here we have Jo and Tadashi’s dishes!

Jo – noodles with shiitake-chicken broth, braised chicken

Tadashi – crispy rice cake with cucumber and crab salad, avocado mousse, basil ice

Aster: Jo’s broth was delicious but his dish, the description should be changed to Asian chicken noodle soup. And when you put it that way, I start to question if he deserves to be a Warrior Chef when he’s cooking such basic, unrefined dishes. I’m disappointed.

Erwin: Tadashi’s rice cake, I was apprehensive. But it was delicious, being coated and fried in panko. The salad with the basil ice was clever and the avocado mousse rounded out the entire dish. I loved it.

Jessica: And finally, the dishes by Amanda and Kira!

Amanda – ratatouille with crostoli and 63 degree egg

Kira – coconut flan, soy caramel tuile, peanut ice cream, coconut-peanut streusel

Aster: Amanda cooked her vegetables well, but it felt like two different dishes. The egg and crostoli were good together, and the ratatouille was good on its own, but together, it felt disjointed. It all clashed on my palate.

Miriam: Kira’s flan was excellent and I loved the streusel and ice cream. I wish she kept the caramel as a sauce instead of a tuile, because the dish needed another saucy component to add moisture.

Jessica: So can we decide on a winner and who’s going home?

Erwin: We can.

In walks Phung, Nate, and Tadashi.

Jessica: Tonight… the three of you prepared the best dishes, and one of you won the elimination challenge! Judges?

Aster: Phung, those noodles were dynamite. I couldn’t get enough of them! The usage of herbs and citrus to perk up the plate was brilliant and I loved the clams and chicken.

Erwin: Nate, the bao was fluffy and light, the duck was cooked excellently, and I loved the bravery you had, making your own hoisin. Well done!

Miriam: Tadashi, your dish was everything I loved about California in a single bite. I could have eaten a hundred of those rice cakes alone.

Jessica: Erwin, please announce the winner!

Erwin: We were really impressed by all three of you. The best dish was prepared by… Phung! Those drunken noodles were phenomenal.

Jessica: Congratulations, Phung! You won back to back challenges tonight!

Phung: Yes, yes I did.
Tadashi: @When she’s on point, Phung delivers. @It’s terrifying, but she’s just that good of a competitor. @I think this finale is going to be tough.

Jessica: The three of you are safe and can leave the room.

Phung: @And I just swept this round. @I know that I’m stronger than everyone here, and even though I came from the most recent season, that’s not stopping me. @I’m going to go all the way.

Nate: @Phung and Tadashi are my biggest competition here. @I know that it’s going to be a tough competition between those two, but I need to keep showing that I deserve to be here and stay on top of these challenges.

In walks Amanda and Jo.

Jessica: Tonight, the two of you made the weakest dishes based on the judges’ critiques, and one of you is going home.

Erwin: Amanda, the dish was fragmented and you just did not deliver on a single, cohesive dish. Jo, your broth was great, but we just did not understand why you thought chicken noodle soup was okay for a spot in the top five in a Redemption season.

Amanda: @I’m feeling nervous. @I thought that the dish was delicious, but clearly the judges did not think the same.

Jo: @Amanda’s dish was what I would make with my leftovers in my fridge. @I think she’s a goner tonight.

Jessica: Amanda…. you’re going home tonight. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Jo: *to Amanda* Ha!

Amanda: @I have no words. @If I was going home, I would have rather it been without Jo standing right next to me, looking smug. @I’m so annoyed and it’s pissing me off. @Nate, Kira, Tadashi, please kick some ass in this season. @Jo, I hope you go home, and I hope Phung kicks your ass in a head to head challenge of any kind.

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Warrior Chef Redemption: Announcement

Since I have concluded Warrior Chef 3 for quite a while now, I had been focusing on writing more Warrior Chef series since then. For the fourth installment of this series, I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted there to be a Redemption competition. For this upcoming Warrior Chef, I will be featuring all previous contestants who have lost the title and are coming back for a second chance. Below is the list of the competitors who are vying for the title yet again! I have linked the rounds that they previously were eliminated in, just so that you can catch up to their respective seasons, as well as listed their total challenge wins from their previous runs.

Warrior Chef 1

Tadashi Hamilton – runner up (3 creativity, 6 elimination; 9 wins)

Karen Laverre – 3rd place (4 creativity, 2 elimination; 6 wins)

Lucas Powers – 4th place (3 creativity, 2 elimination; 5 wins)

Fanny Robinson – 5th place (2 creativity, 1 elimination; 3 wins)

Warrior Chef 2

Rose Fu – runner up (4 creativity, 2 elimination; 6 wins)

Amanda Bolen – 3rd place (4 creativity, 2 elimination; 6 wins)

John “Jo” Chang – 4th place (1 creativity, 3 elimination; 4 wins)

Nate Wong – 5th place (1 creativity, 1 elimination; 2 wins)

Warrior Chef 3

Phung Pham – runner up (3 creativity, 5 elimination; 8 wins)

Kira Taso – runner up (4 creativity, 1 elimination; 5 wins)

Justin Chiarello – 4th place (1 creativity, 1 elimination; 2 wins)

Henry Parker – 5th place (0 creativity, 0 elimination; 0 wins)

Warrior Chef 3: Finale Part 1

The final four arrive in New Orleans, where the competition will conclude.

Justin: @I’m the last man standing and against three of the strongest cooks in this competition’s history. @Phung is definitely my biggest competition and I want her to go home next.

Michele: Welcome to the finale! Let’s get into your creativity challenge! Since we are in New Orleans, we want to see you guys make a delicious… beignet. You have just 30 minutes, and your time starts now!

Kira: @A beignet is a doughnut. @Lauren won the last elimination challenge with her doughnuts, so this will be tough. @I’m making a lemon-coconut beignet with lemon curd glaze and toasted coconut sprinkled on top.

Lauren: @I won the last challenge with my doughnuts so I’m going to do it again. @I’m making a matcha cake beignets with white chocolate ganache glaze. @The biggest competition for me in this challenge, probably Justin? @I don’t really think anyone here has as much pastry experience as me.

Phung: @I’m making mochi and red bean doughnuts. @These doughnuts are going to win Warrior Chef for me. @I swear upon it. @I’m excited to be competing in the finale, but I need to get another win in or else everyone will think I peaked.

Justin: @I’m going to nail this challenge. @I’m making almond, chocolate, and orange beignets. @I think that the flavor combination of these ingredients will deliver. @Lauren is the one to beat for this challenge, but I’m not too worried about the creativity challenge. @I’m thinking about the elimination challenge.

Michele: Time’s up!

Phung: @I’m feeling great. @This dough is a winner.

Michele: Your judge for this challenge is New Orleans native and Warrior Chef finalist, Tina Wang!

Tina: Hi, everyone! I’ve made it to the final three before, so I understand how it feels to be so close to the end. I can’t wait to try your beignets!

Tina and Michele taste the dishes.

Michele: So Tina, who prepared your favorite beignets?

Tina: Lauren, the matcha was creative and I liked the texture of your beignet. Kira, you produced the lightest beignets and the coconut and lemon was really good. Tonight, Kira, you won it for me.

Michele: Congratulations, Kira! You won the creativity challenge and a huge advantage going into the elimination challenge!

Kira: Thank you! @I’m stoked that I get a huge advantage. @If I play it right, then I’m guaranteed a spot in the next round. @After almost being eliminated in the last round, I really want to finalize my place in this competition.

A cart is wheeled in, carrying crawfish and shrimp.

Michele: For the elimination challenge, we want you guys to use either crawfish or shrimp in your dishes. Kira, you get to assign who cooks with what.

Kira: Phung’s getting the crawfish, and everyone else gets shrimp. @I want her out. @Crawfish, never cooked with it before. @She probably hasn’t either, so she’s probably screwed tonight.

Phung: @I’m so happy she gave me the crawfish. @I know how to cook it. @It’s delicious. @I’m going to win this challenge and send Kira home. @Bye, bye, girl.

Michele: 45 minutes to prepare your dishes, time starts now!

Phung: @I’m making a drunken crawfish broth, using plenty of lager to get that crawfish as wasted as possible. @I’m confident that I can demolish the competition tonight because of my skills. @Lauren’s my biggest competition right now, but she’s not somebody who can even hold a candle to me in the kitchen. @I’m going to knock her over in the name of the Phung Dynasty.

Kira: @I’m preparing butter poached shrimp with a shrimp butter and couscous to soak up the butter, and deep fried couscous for texture on top. @Phung is a tough, tough competitor. @She’s got skills, and I’m still amazed how hard of a time she gives me in this competition, given that she’s just a home cook.

Lauren: @For my dish tonight, I’m making grilled shrimp with a shrimp-pineapple stock and some ham wrapped shrimp tempura. @I want to make the shrimp be the star tonight, and I’m going to showcase them in three ways to show my mastery over this ingredient. @Kira and Justin have got a lot of techniques, and Phung is a monster. @This final four, it’s really competitive.

Justin: @I’m going to make shrimp scampi with a shrimp butter. @I’m making the pasta from scratch, and then I’m going to load plenty of lemon, garlic, and chervil onto the dish. @Phung, Kira, Lauren, they’re all strong cooks. @I have mad respect for Lauren and Kira, and I want the three of us to make it to the final challenge together. @Phung getting the crawfish, I think it’ll be good for the odds of that happening.

Michele: Time’s up!

Kira: @I see Phung’s final dish and I’m shocked. @She’s got a crawfish broth with some raw vegetables and crawfish in a bowl. @It’s a beautiful dish, and I think that if it works the way she’s intending for it to, then she might have just won this challenge.

Phung: @This dish won me the elimination challenge. @It’s everything I could ever ask for, and more. @I see the other dishes, and I’m not impressed. @Justin should just go home, because he’s made pasta in every challenge and that gets old really fast.

Michele: Your judges for this elimination challenge are:

Terrell Ayes – Warrior Chef two time finalist

Tina Wang – Warrior Chef finalist

Guy Flannigan

Michele: Let’s start with Kira’s dish!

-butter poached shrimp with shrimp butter, couscous in two textures

Tina: The shrimp were cooked beautifully and I liked that she incorporated two kinds of couscous into her dish. The butter for me, it lacked shrimp flavor.

Guy: I agree on her shrimp butter being on the bland side. The flavor of the shrimp themselves, nicely done. I liked her couscous too.

Terrell: The dish was close to perfection. The shrimp butter needed more flavor of any kind. It tasted like unsalted butter, just melted down.

Michele: And now we have Lauren’s dish!

-grilled shrimp with shrimp-pineapple stock and some ham wrapped shrimp tempura

Terrell: I was really impressed by the flavor of the stock. The pineapple and the ham actually worked together nicely.

Tina: I hate Hawaiian pizza, but I loved her dish. The flavors complimented the shrimp and I’m just really impressed.

Guy: The flavor of the stock was very deep. The shrimp was cooked nicely, both the grilled and the tempura. I was impressed.

Michele: And now we have Justin’s dish!

-shrimp scampi with shrimp butter

Guy: The dish itself was just boring. Had he not made his own pasta, then it would have honestly been forgettable. The shrimp butter was a good idea, but it just was bland.

Tina: I thought that the pasta was cooked nicely but I agree that he hardly pushed the originality of the dish.

Terrell: I wanted spices and flavors, but instead, I got bland shrimp sauce. I just didn’t want to finish it.

Michele: And finally, Phung’s dish!

-drunken crawfish shabu shabu

Tina: Wow. Just wow. The flavors in her broth were incredible. Lauren’s broth was delicious, but Phung’s was deep.

Terrell: The spices she coaxed into that liquid, it was addictive. I could have finished an entire vat of that broth alone.

Guy: She managed to make an inventive dish with an ingredient that is really challenging. She nailed it on all counts.

Michele: So can we agree on who will make our final three?

Tina: Yes.

In walks the finalists.

Michele: Two of you impressed the judges tonight, and one of you is going home. Phung, Lauren, you made the judges’ favorite dishes tonight! Congratulations!

Lauren: @The last time this happened, I beat Phung. @Let’s hope for a repeat.

Phung: @I want to beat Lauren. @I want to prove that I’m better than second place.

Michele: Terrell, please announce the winner!

Terrell: It was a close decision. But in the end, the best dish was made by…. Phung!

Phung: BOOM! @I won. @I knew I was going to win though. @If I did not win this challenge, then I would be so embarrassed.

Michele: Congratulations, Phung! You and Lauren can leave the room.

Lauren: @I didn’t beat Phung, but I’m in the top three now. @It’s going to be a tough, tough battle ahead.

Phung and Lauren leave.

Kira: @I’m shocked. @I had the advantage, and I lost it. @Phung took my sabotage and won the challenge with it. @It really sucks.

Michele: Kira, Justin, one of you is going home tonight.

Tina: Kira, we liked the dish up until your shrimp butter. The fried couscous was original. But you didn’t make your own couscous.

Guy: Justin, the dish was just unmemorable. Had you not made your own pasta, this decision would be a very easy one to make.

Michele: The person leaving tonight is…. Justin. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Justin: Thank you for this opportunity to compete. @I got sent home. @I can’t believe it. @I thought I was going to be Warrior Chef. @And I’m going home fourth.

Kira: @This needs to stop. @I’ve been on the bottom of the last few challenges and I’m getting sick of it. @I need to step up my game or else I’m going home next.

Justin: @Warrior Chef has been a wonderful experience overall. @I made a lot of good friends and I put myself out there. @I just wished that I had the chance to make it to the end and show that my food is worth the $30,000 prize.

Warrior Chef 1: Round 4

Lucas: @After winning the last challenge, I’m feeling really awesome. @We’re down to eight, and I want to just keep winning everything!

Karen: @I got immunity in the last round, and I feel like it really helped. @Tonight, I need to keep trying my best with these creativity challenges and seizing whatever immunity or advantages I can get!

Carrie: Welcome back! I’m sure you’re all thirsty for another win, so here are some beverages to cool you off. Please just grab whatever beverage suits your fancy!

On the station are glasses filled with coca-cola, orange juice, root beer, hot cocoa, lemonade, iced tea, ginger ale, and a vanilla milkshake.

Fanny: @I know that we’re going to make something using a beverage in it, so I immediately grab the orange juice. @It’ll be the easiest thing to work with.

Lucas: @Fanny grabs the orange juice, and I make a run for the ginger ale. @Ginger ale won’t be a hard ingredient to use in any dish, sweet or savory.

Jackson: @I take the iced tea. @Man, I am parched. @This hit the spot!

Zack: @I take coca-cola and I’m happy with it. @I’ve got a couple cola ideas up my sleeve that I can pull off tonight.

Tadashi: @I’m not sure if we’re pairing the dish with the beverage or using it, but I think about using the lemonade, because it’ll offset fish really well.

Leona: @I managed to snag the root beer, and I’m so relieved. @Hot cocoa and vanilla milkshake are just laden with sugar, so they would both be bad choices. @Root beer, you can use that to make the bases of a lot of sauces and glazes.

Vanilla: @I wound up with the vanilla milkshake, and I’m so excited, haha!~ @I’ve got so many ideas on what I can make with it already!~

Karen: @I have the hot cocoa. @Immediately, mole comes into my mind. @But I don’t cook Mexican, so I’m just trying to figure out what the heck am I going to do with it.

Carrie: So you have just 30 minutes to prepare your dishes, using the beverage you selected. Time starts now!

Karen: @So I decide to marinate a lamb rack in a mixture of chilies, garlic, and the hot cocoa. @I’m pairing the sauteed lamb loin with a carrot-ginger puree and a red wine reduction. @I’m just hoping that the carrot, ginger, and red wine will balance out the chocolate flavors, and that I can get everything cooked properly in just 30 minutes. @I get the red wine on first, and the sous-vied the lamb to get everything marinated.

Leona: @With the root beer, I’m going to make a root beer glazed cornish game hen with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, a sage salsa verde using the root beer in there, and root beer brown butter sauce. @I’m using root beer in three of my four components today, in hopes that it’ll translate across in a successful manner.

Tadashi: @I have the lemonade, and I decide to make a ginger-yuzu-lemonade curd, and then I’ll pair that with some sesame-garlic compressed watermelon, which I’ll shave to resemble tuna. @And then I’m using avocado mash and edamame to add more textures to the dish. @I want to go a vegetarian way tonight, because it’ll show a lot more creativity. @I need to show everyone here that I’m not going home early.

Zack: @So with the coca-cola, I decide on making a glazed duck with chestnut puree and cranberry reduction. @I’m using the cola to glaze the duck, in the boiling liquid for my chestnuts, and as the base for my reduction.

Vanilla: @I got the vanilla milkshake, and I’m making a vanilla souffle, vanilla macaron, and vanilla ice cream. @I’m using the milkshake to make the souffle and the ice cream, while the macaron, I’m deciding on doing a coconut macaron instead of the almond, because it’ll just crack from being under-rested. @I think it’ll work!~ @Haha!~

Fanny: @Grabbing the orange juice, I decide to make a molasses and orange glazed duck breast with a parsnip puree and arugula salad with orange juice vinaigrette. @I taste the juice, and it’s concentrate, not the fresh stuff. @I’m feeling a bit screwed, because it’s got a huge citric acid kick to it, and it tastes so artificial, so I’m hoping that I can mask that with brown butter, dried orange peel, and spices.

Lucas: @Getting ginger ale rocks! @I’m making a ginger ale caramel and glazing some pork and squid in that. @It’s going to be a ginger glazed pork loin with a ginger ale battered calamari, apple slaw, and grapefruit segments in honey. @I’m thinking that the freshness of the flavor will be fantastic.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Fanny: @I see Vanilla’s dessert. @She’s such a sweetheart, and she keeps killing it with her desserts. @I want to see her actually excel with savory food, but I don’t think she can.

Carrie: So your judge is Warrior Chef judge, Thyme De Lys!

Thyme: Hi, everyone! There’s always a beverage for every season, and I can’t wait to see what ingredients you guys paired with the drinks!

Thyme and Carrie taste the dishes.
Carrie: So Thyme, who disappointed you?

Thyme: Tadashi, the lemonade was way too sweet and that translated poorly into your dish. I couldn’t tell if it was a dessert or a savory dish. Leona, the hen was undercooked, but I did like the glaze. Karen, the dish was way too rich and you didn’t balance that.

Lucas: @Hearing the critiques, Thyme is harsh! @Those three have been on the winning half of a lot of challenges so far.

Thyme: So my favorites. Fanny, the dish was gorgeous and the orange juice worked so well with the duck and arugula. Lucas, the glazed pork and fried squid combination was unexpected, but it was really tasty. Vanilla, your dessert was ambitious and you transformed your beverage the most in this challenge. Tonight, it came down to who used the drink the best and how cohesive the dish was. That’s why, Lucas, you made the best dish!

Carrie: Congratulations, Lucas! You won immunity!

Lucas: Thanks! @Not being able to go home again rocks! @We’re getting close to the halfway point, and the last thing I’d want is to go home early.

Carrie: Now for the elimination challenge. We want you guys to work in two teams of four to prepare a memorable four course meal. Lucas, for winning the challenge, you can select one of your teammates first, as well as the captain of the opposing team.

Lucas: @I look around, and I know I need strong cooks. I’m going to choose Tadashi to be on my team. For the other team, I’d like the captain to be…. Leona. @She’s strong, but very extreme. @I don’t think she’s going to captain well.

Leona: Very well. I’m going to choose Vanilla to be on my team. @Vanilla’s strong. @There’s no way that we’re going home.

Lucas: Karen, get on over.

Leona: Zack, you’re on my roster.

Lucas: @It’s now between Fanny and Jackson. I’m going with Fanny.

Leona: @I have Zack, Vanilla, and Jackson. @I don’t think my team is the weaker one. @I’m confident that I can beat the other team tonight.

Carrie: So you’ll have an hour to prepare a memorable four course meal. The team that cooks the better meal will win this challenge while the losing team, one member will be sent home.

Karen: @Already, I want our team to do well, because Lucas has immunity, and if we’re on the chopping block, it’s between me, Fanny, and Tadashi, and those two are older and much more experienced than I am.

Carrie: 1 hour, four courses, one coherent meal. Time starts now!

Lucas: *to Karen, Tadashi, and Fanny* So let’s come up with a theme. @Our meal needs to be coherent or else we’re not really going to show that a lot of thought went into our dishes. @Our theme is going to be date night. @I think it’ll be a smart way to show off some really cool concepts. @So Karen’s going to be in charge of the entree, Tadashi is on the cold appetizer, I’m doing the warm appetizer, and Fanny is doing the dessert. @For my appetizer, I’m making goat cheese and pickled apricot tortellini with brown butter and candied thyme. @I think it’ll be a really appealing dish, visually, taste-wise, and texturally.

Tadashi: @For my cold appetizer, I’m making oysters with basil vinaigrette, pickled strawberries, and avocado mousse. @In this competition, everyone knows that I am one of the best seafood cooks, so I’m hopeful that I can deliver on that and continue bringing in good dishes to the competition.

Karen: @I’m cooking the entree, and it’s exciting, because most of my dishes are entrees, and they’ve been pretty well-perceived. @Since it’s date night, I need to incorporate some sort of romantic theme to it. @I grab the pinot noir, and I have a great idea. @I’m making a seared ribeye with pinot noir-shallot jus, celeriac puree, and shallot and celeriac fritto misto. @I’m adding plenty of butter into that puree because I want it to be buttery, smooth, creamy, and just entice whoever is eating it.

Fanny: @Karen’s making a really simple dish, so I need to make sure that I can nail a complex dessert so that we can guarantee ourselves a winning menu. @I’m making a chocolate mousse cylinder with raspberry liquid gel center, caramel seesaw on top balancing a raspberry bonbon and chocolate-dulce de leche truffle, salted caramel ice cream, chocolate soil, and raspberry coulis. @It’s going to be an amazing dessert, assuming I can pull off every component.

Leona: *to Zack* I want you on hot appetizer. *to Jackson* You do cold appetizer. *to Vanilla* Can you make the entree? I have a dessert I want to make.

Zack: *to Leona* Are you sure you want Vanilla on entree? Her desserts have been the best in the competition.

Leona: *to Zack* I’m confident that the dessert I have up my sleeve will blow the other team’s dessert out of the water.

Vanilla: Alright then. I’ll do the main.

Leona: @So for the menu, we’re going with a spice trail. @For the first course, it’ll be a horseradish marinaded beef carpaccio, shaved apples, pickled blackberries, and pecorino romano by Jackson. @The hot appetizer is going to be Zack’s curried mussels with homemade na’an bread. @For Vanilla’s entree, we’re making spice roasted venison with chanterelle mushrooms, turmeric-butternut squash puree, and sticky fig-date-ginger reduction. @For my dessert, it’s chili marinated cherry tartlet with lime-buttermilk sorbet. @I see the other team, and they’re going with a date night theme. @I know our spices will be bold and they’ll be memorable.

Zack: @I’m making the mussel dish, so I start by getting the bread dough made because it’ll need a lot of time to proof. @For the mussels themselves, I need to start bearding them, because the beards are inedible, and that’ll just be gross to the judges if they get a single beard. @For my spices, I get the turmeric, ginger, cumin, garlic, onion, curry leaf, paprika, black pepper, cinnamon, saffron, and cardamom together into a pan, and add in coconut milk to make a delicious broth to cook the mussels in.

Jackson: @I’m doing a beef carpaccio, but I need to guarantee that my beef is sliced perfectly. @So I sous-vied the beef loin with mustard and horseradish to get it really spicy. @And then I drop the entire loin into liquid nitrogen, and then take that through a deli slicer to get the slices thin and even. @The rest of my dish is pretty simple to make, so I’m going to be helping Vanilla with her entree.

Vanilla: @I’m cooking venison, haha!~ @I get the meat seasoned in cayenne, black pepper, paprika, nutmeg, and oregano, and then I chuck it into the oven so that it can get roasting. @I heard that venison works well with spices, and that’s why I’m cooking with it. @I get the squash peeled and into water, and then I get started on my reduction, using port, dried figs and dates, and knobs of ginger, and then reduce them together. @For my mushrooms, I chuck those into the oven as well so that I can reduce the liquid and then I can caramelize them in brown butter.

Leona: @I get the tart shells into the oven and then I making the sorbet, which is equal parts lime juice, buttermilk, and simple syrup. @I get that churning and then start the poblano syrup that I can stew the cherries in. @Pitting the cherries is going to be a bitch, but once I get that done, my dessert will be almost perfect. @I think our menu is perfection. @The other team should be scared.

Lucas: @I see that Leona’s making Vanilla prepare a savory course and I just laugh to myself. @She’s so dumb. @Vanilla is one of the best pastry cooks here and you make her cook venison? @That’s not going to end well for the other team.

Vanilla: @I get the venison out of the oven and I start resting it. @I start passing the squash through the sieve and then start pureeing it with plenty of my turmeric compound butter. @And then I start to slice the meat, and it’s…. completely gray.

Zack: @The venison is overcooked and I just feel my heart sink. @Vanilla was our shining hope, and now we’re screwed.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Tadashi: @Vanilla overcooked her venison. @I look at our team, and Karen cooked her steak perfectly. @Already, we’ve won the entree.

Carrie: Your judges are:
Miriam Adjanti

Aster Walker

Erwin Ko

Carrie: Let’s start with the dishes by Team 1 led by Lucas!

-oysters with basil vinaigrette, pickled strawberries, and avocado mousse

-goat cheese and pickled apricot tortellini with brown butter and candied thyme

-seared ribeye, pinot noir-shallot jus, celeriac puree, shallot and celeriac fritto misto

-chocolate mousse cylinder with raspberry liquid gel, caramel

Miriam: I loved the appetizers right off the bat. The oysters were cleaned properly, so that was already a good start. The mousse, pickled berries, it all worked so well together. I loved the tortellini as well. They cooked that pasta beautifully.

Aster: The ribeye was such a simple dish, but the fritto misto on top was a clever touch and it really made this dish inventive and interactive, something you need in a romantic dish. I loved how they tied in the theme of this being a date into every dish.

Erwin: That dessert was possibly one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted. If Fanny can make something this amazing, then she could potentially win the entire competition. This was impressive. The raspberry, caramel, and chocolate notes were fantastic.

Carrie: And now we’ve got the dishes by Team 2, lead by Leona!

-horseradish beef carpaccio, shaved apples, pickled blackberries, pecorino romano

-curried mussels with homemade na’an bread

-spiced venison, chanterelles, turmeric-butternut puree, sticky fig-date-ginger reduction

-chili marinated cherry tartlet with lime-buttermilk sorbet

Aster: The carpaccio was delicious and I thought that the pickled blackberries were an interesting touch. Funny how both teams did raw proteins with pickled fruit to start. The curried mussels, I loved the flavor of them and the na’an bread was divine.

Erwin: The venison was so overcooked that it was basically like venison jerky. I couldn’t chew it. The other components were done beautifully, but the flavors didn’t work well together. I’m disappointed.

Miriam: I’m shocked by Leona’s method of marinating the tart. You’d think that the description referred to just the cherries being marinated but Leona marinated the entire pastry in the chili syrup and that just felt wonky. I don’t really think this team ended as strongly as the other team did.

Carrie: So do we have a winning team?

Erwin: We in.

In walks Karen, Tadashi, Lucas, and Fanny.

Carrie: Tonight, the four of you… were the winning team! Congratulations!

Erwin: Karen, your steak dish was one of our genuine favorites. You cooked the beef consistently across all of our plates and the fritto misto was a clever touch that we all appreciated greatly.

Karen: Glad you liked it. @I’m feeling good about my contribution to the team. @It was a team effort and we definitely worked well together.

Aster: Fanny, that dessert showed a ton of effort and we noticed it. That was easily the dish that won the challenge for your team.

Fanny: Thank you. @Hearing that from Aster solidifies my confidence as a cook. @I knew I had what it took to win a challenge!

Miriam: Tadashi and Lucas, you both started the meal on a high. I couldn’t fault your dishes and you both delivered on all counts.

Tadashi: @Hearing that is awesome because I knew we were a strong team. @Lucas chose the right people.

Lucas: @I’m proud of us. @I’d happily work with any of these guys again.

Carrie: You all won this challenge and are safe from elimination. Please bring in the other team.

The winning team leaves.

In walks Zack, Leona, Vanilla, and Jackson.

Carrie: Unfortunately, the four of you lose the challenge and one of you will be going home tonight.

Erwin: Zack, you actually made a great dish. You’re definitely safe tonight.

Zack: Thank you.

Miriam: Jackson, we all agreed your carpaccio was a solid dish. You’re safe as well.

Jackson: @I dodged a huge bullet. @But it’s between Leona and Vanilla for who’s going home. @I think Leona’s toast.

Vanilla: @I’m shaking. @Leona and I are the bottom two.

Aster: Vanilla, the venison was overcooked and it bordered on being inedible. Leona, you marinated your entire tartlet, so the pastry was sticky and soggy. It was a mess.

Leona: @I think Vanilla’s a goner. @My soggy pastry was messy, but it wasn’t inedible.

Carrie: Vanilla, please return to the kitchen and leave.

Vanilla: Thank you. @I’m feeling terrible right now. @It’s just reminding me of how people use to tell me how “unworthy” I am. @Going home this early breaks my heart. @I wanted to take out the competition and I’m being sent home in 8th place. @I’m really disappointed in myself.

Warrior Chef 1: Preliminary 2

Preliminary 2

Contestants:
Freshmen:
Jimmy Taylor: Spiky blonde haired boy from Maui, Hawaii. Loves to surf and is currently a junior varsity water-polo player. Loves to cook with Hawaiian flavors, but can prepare most American classics. Wants to win the title because he’s competitive.

Sophomores:
Vincent Edner: Brunette raised in Japan, but currently lives in Washington D.C. Loves to prepare dishes with both Japanese and American influences, and has recently staged under celebrity chef, Bobby Flay. Wants to win to do his mentor proud.
Angelina Yeo: Slim half Latin, half Chinese girl from Las Vegas, Nevada. A former ballet dancer, she currently bakes for her friends on the dance team and sells desserts for fun. Wants to work at China-Poblano, a restaurant that perfectly envelops her heritage.

Juniors:
Judith Tice: Curly dirty-blonde haired girl from Topeka, Kansas. Is gluten, ovo, and lactose-intolerant, and allergic to refined sugars. Loves to cook for herself, because it’s fun for her to figure out what she can and can’t eat. Wants to inspire others.
Lucas Powers: Pale brunette from Boston, Massachusetts. Is competitive and interested in both cooking and law. Wants to go to business school so that he can eventually own his own restaurant empire. Cooks American classics.

Seniors:
Fanny Robinson: Lanky dark haired girl from New York City, New York. Is a part-time model, amateur boxer, and stages under Jean-Georges’s restaurant group. Cooks refined new American, and wants to win for validation that being a chef is a good idea.

Fanny: @I’m the first person walking into the kitchen tonight, and I just see a lot of young cooks who look like they’re out their depth. @This one ought to be easy.

Angelina: @I’m young, but I’m fierce. @Nobody in this group should question my authority in the kitchen. @I’m just that strong.

Carrie: Welcome to the second preliminary! The six of you will be competing for five spots in the next stage of this competition.

Jimmy: @I’m the only freshman in this round, but I’m confident that I can represent myself, the people in my grade, and Hawaii really well.

Vincent: @I’ve worked under Bobby Flay, and I’m bringing that knowledge with me into the kitchen tonight. @Everyone better fear me.

Carrie: So you have an hour to cook your dish. Time starts now!

Jimmy: @So for my dish tonight, I’m making hamburger steak with potato gnocchi, a demi glas infused hollandaise sauce, and Kahlua braised cabbage. @It’s basically a deconstructed and refined take on a loco moco, a traditional Hawaiian meal. @I want to show everyone tonight that I can display finesse, technique, and skills beyond my age. @I’m not going home this round. @Absolutely out of the question.

Vincent: @I’m making compressed ahi tuna with smoked creme fraiche and roasted poblano. @I’m combining spicy, fresh, and creamy and I know that the smoking of the creme fraiche with the cedar wood will be a hit. @I don’t see any other cook in this competition posing a threat to me. @I don’t think any of them have worked at the level of restaurants and chefs that I have.

Angelina: @I’m making pork belly tostada with fresh cabbage, pickled daikon, and poached egg. @I’m making the tortillas from scratch, and then I’m going to treat the meat of the pork belly carnitas style while crisping up the skin separately in the oven. @For the tortillas, I’m going to toast them in a pan, and then bake them off in the oven to finish. @Vincent’s looking really cocky about his dish, but I think it’ll crash and burn.

Judith: @I’ve got a lot of allergies, so I know I need to get creative and find a new way to wow the judges not with just the food I like, but food that tastes good in general. @I’m making coconut oil stuffed dates with shaved fennel and roasted mushrooms. @I’m feeling really nervous, but I think that’s just because I accidentally licked a spoon that had mayonnaise on it, and it’s making me hallucinate a little.

Lucas: @I’m going to make a green curry roasted lobster tail, basil infused gnocchi, lime buttered scallops, and puffed rice. @It’s a lot to get done in just one hour, so I get the potatoes started first, and then I get the green curry paste made with the herbs, chilies, and aromatics, and then I brush that onto the lobster and get that into the oven with the potatoes. @Then I need to start shucking the scallops. @If I pull it off, I could seriously win this challenge!

Fanny: @Lucas is such a sweetheart, and that’s why I want to beat him. @Being a model, you’re taught to be aggressive, especially towards those who aren’t. @Vincent thinks he’s a big shot because he worked for Bobby Flay. @I’ve worked for Jean-Georges. @He’s a dominant chef in New York, and Bobby Flay can’t even compete at that level. @For my dish, it’s a beet-pomegranate sorbet, cacao nib soil, seared lamb loin, and balsamic-black garlic puree.

Jimmy: @I see Lucas is also doing gnocchi. @This is going to be interesting, because if my gnocchi aren’t as good as his, the judges will definitely take note of that. @I decide to switch up my concept and do ricotta gnocchi instead, because then they won’t be as similar. @It’s too early to go balls to the wall and go head to head. @I still think this is a smart idea.

Vincent: @I see that everyone’s making really pedestrian dishes. @And then I notice what Fanny’s making. @She’s got cacao nibs and lamb with pomegranate and beets?@Like seriously, what? @I’m so lost right now. @She never mentioned professional experience before. @I’m feeling a little pissed, because she’s definitely using refined techniques that I’ve never seen.

Angelina: @The pork belly is delicious, and I got the tortillas to work, so I know that I’ve got a delicious dish in the making. @But then I see the other dishes. @Lucas is cooking scallops, lobster, and gnocchi?! @Holy shit. @I’m starting to doubt myself, but I just need to keep cooking through this challenge and hope my concept will kick some ass.

Judith: @I cut open the dates and then I remove the seeds. @I grab my coconut oil, and whip it up and spoon that into the dates. @The other accompaniment is going to be shaved fennel, which I’m cutting on the mandolin, and some roasted portobello mushrooms. @I’m reaching around and grabbing everything, because right now, I’m tripping on mayonnaise. @It’s actually terrifying, but I don’t want to call the medic. @I only have an hour, and I have so much I need to do.

Lucas: @Judith is grabbing a lot of things from the pantry, and her dish is looking interesting. @She’s got hamachi, shiitake mushrooms, firm tofu, and goji berries. @That’s definitely not what her dish was, but good for her for trying something completely different. @I get my lobsters out of the oven, and they’re cooked beautifully. @The gnocchi, I have them rolled and cut, I just need to get them into the water. @The scallops are still waiting for the butter treatment, and I still need to get the rice into the frier to cook it. @I’m feeling so exhausting, like I’m going around in circles right now.

Fanny: @Lucas has a really complex dish going on and in my heart, I’m hoping that he messes up, because I want immunity. @I don’t think he’s going home, even with an incomplete dish, but if he does pull off that risk, it’ll definitely knock me off the 1st place pedestal. @My lamb loin, it’s cooked perfectly. @My soil tastes earthy but not too bitter. @I add some lemon zest and dehydrated mint leaf powder into that, just to twist the flavors and give it an unexpected hit. @I know my flavors are going to kick ass.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Lucas: @I managed to pull everything off, but the presentation was a bit sloppy. @I see Fanny’s dish, and it’s gorgeous. @I would happily eat that.

Jimmy: @Lucas’s dish looks like a mess, and that makes me feel a lot more relieved, because my dish looks rushed too. @I don’t know who’s going to get through to the next stage of the competition, but that makes this so much more exciting!

Judith: @I get a second look at my dish, and it’s so.. not what I envisioned. @Somehow, I got hamachi, which I’m allergic to, tofu, goji berries, and shiitake mushrooms onto my dish. @What the heck is this?

Carrie: So your judges are:

Erwin Ko – renowned Korean-fusion chef in Los Angeles

Miriam Adjanti – chairwomen of the European Culinary Institutions in New York

Scott Connors – renowned Italian chef with restaurants in New York and Miami

Max Hudson – award winning seafood chef from Los Angeles and Honolulu

Chelia Van Buren – famous restauranteur and cookbook author

Missy Skies – Michelin-starred Italian chef in New York

Carrie: Let’s start with the dish by Jimmy!

Jimmy – hamburger steak, ricotta gnocchi, demi glas hollandaise, Kahlua cabbage

Missy: The hamburger was cooked a perfect medium, the gnocchi were fluffy and light, and I loved the Kahlua braised cabbage. It was delicious!

Max: You know what this reminds me of? It’s like a deconstructed loco moco! It’s got all of the flavors, and some of the components, but completely refined!

Chelia: I totally agree with you, Max. This was a loco moco at heart. Him being from Hawaii, that came through on the plate. I really loved the flavors.

Carrie: Next up is Vincent’s dish!

Vincent – roasted poblano, compressed ahi tuna, smoked creme fraiche

Scott: Well the good news is that the tuna was cooked beautifully and I liked the poblano. The creme fraiche, it was too smoked, and I couldn’t taste anything else.

Miriam: I struggled with it because of the creme fraiche. It was overpowering basically everything on the plate.

Erwin: The poblano, I was expecting the kick, but I didn’t really get that. The creme fraiche was strong and I couldn’t taste anything but smoke.

Carrie: And now we’ve got Angelina’s dish!

Angelina – pork belly tostada, cabbage, pickled daikon, poached egg

Miriam: The pork belly itself was cooked beautifully. I loved the crunch of the crackling, sprinkled throughout. The tortillas were a bit of a letdown. They were sandy and grainy.

Scott: I appreciate her making her own tortillas, and that to me was interesting. The seasoning on the pork belly, I love how she treated the meat like carnitas.

Missy: It was an interesting dish, but there were mistakes. The tortilla being grainy was an issue, as well as the cabbage being underseasoned and undressed. But the pork was gorgeous. I loved the pork belly so much.

Carrie: The dish up next belonged to Judith!

Judith – coconut oil stuffed dates, shaved fennel salad, roasted mushrooms

Max: Well this is awkward. The only thing that was consistent to her description was that there were mushrooms. But she poached them… in coconut oil. Those were delicious.

Erwin: There was hamachi on the plate, and that was cooked beautifully. There were also goji berries, but they were hard and dry. It got stuck in my teeth.

Chelia: The whipped tofu puree underneath the fish, she used firm tofu, so it was chunky. I didn’t really like it much. And then there was the description issue. I liked the mushrooms and hamachi, but the rest of it confused me completely.

Carrie: This next dish belongs to Lucas!
Lucas – green curry lobster, basil gnocchi, lime buttered scallops, puffed rice

Missy: The lobster was cooked nicely, and his gnocchi, they were on par with Jimmy’s gnocchi. I loved the Thai influences throughout the dish. That was unique.

Max: The puffed rice and the buttered scallops, just those little details, for him to nail those, and the spice blend in the green curry paste, I’m really impressed.

Erwin: The lobster was buttery and had a nice crispy exterior. The gnocchi were soft and pillowy, and the buttered scallops were silky and juicy. I loved everything.

Carrie: Finally, we have Fanny’s dish!

Fanny – beet-pomegranate sorbet, cacao soil, lamb loin, balsamic-black garlic puree

Chelia: Lamb cooked perfectly. The presentation was gorgeous. The puree was a bit strong, but the sorbet, the soil, it all worked so well together.

Miriam: I think that the black garlic, just one clove less, and this dish would be so perfect. It was already presented beautifully, and she paired sorbet of all things with red meat, but it works!

Scott: The soil, I taste mint and lemon, and it worked so well with the beets, the pomegranate, the balsamic, and the lamb. It was beautiful.

Carrie: So can we get into scoring?

Missy: We can.

In walks the six cooks.

Judith: @I’m freaking out, because I don’t even remember what I made. @This sounds terrible. @I don’t know what’ll happen.

Angelina: @I’m so confident in my dish tonight. @I have high doubts that nobody is going to beat me.

Carrie: So only five of you will be advancing to the next stage of the competition. Let’s start with Jimmy’s score!

Erwin: You are really young, but you cook like a seasoned pro. 10 stars.

Miriam: For me, hollandaise and gnocchi don’t go together in a European sensibility. But it was tasty. 9 stars.

Scott: 9 stars for an inventive take on your heritage.

Max: 10 stars. Your loco moco was fantastic!

Chelia: 9 stars.

Missy: 9 stars.

Jimmy – 10 + 9 + 9 + 10 + 9 + 9 = 56/60 stars

Fanny: Wow! @I’m so surprised. @He’s young, he doesn’t look like a threat, and he got two perfect scores. @Who would’ve thought?

Jimmy: @Getting a 56 is amazing! @I know I’m not going home, for sure!

Carrie: Next is Vincent’s score!

Vincent: @I’m confident that I can beat 56. @Bring it.

Erwin: The creme fraiche just killed it for me. 7 stars.

Miriam: 7 stars.

Scott: Simplicity, you achieved. Balance, not so much. 7 stars.

Max: 7 stars.

Chelia: 7 stars.

Missy: 7 stars.

Vincent – 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 42/60 stars

Vincent: @A 42? @Are you serious?! @I definitely deserved so much more than a 42. @This is embarrassing! @Chef will kill me over this!

Carrie: Now we’ve got Angelina’s score.

Erwin: The pork belly was delectable. 8 stars.

Miriam: You just missed with the tortilla. 7 stars.

Scott: 8 stars.

Max: 7 stars. I felt like the cabbage was neglected.

Chelia: 7 stars.

Missy: 8 stars.

Angelina – 8 + 7 + 8 + 7 + 7 + 8 = 45/60 stars

Angelina: @At least I’m safe, but not by much. @I’m feeling a little embarrassed regardless. @I know I can do better than this. @I should have made a dessert.

Carrie: And next is Judith’s score!

Erwin: I’m honestly not sure how to score you. But your hamachi dish was nice. 6 stars.

Miriam: I can’t tell what I can do here, but for what you plated, I’m giving you 6 stars.

Scott: I’m giving you 6 stars, for those dry goji berries, and the inconsistent dish.

Max: 6 stars.

Chelia: 6 stars for decent cooking, but points off for inconsistency between your dish’s description and what we actually received.

Missy: I just wanted an accurate description. But the hamachi was gorgeous. 7 stars.

Judith – 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 +7 + 7 = 38/60 stars

Judith: @They liked the hamachi, but because that wasn’t the dish I intended and it was off my description, I’m getting marked down. @But I get it. @I made a promise for stuffed dates and fennel, and I didn’t deliver.

Vincent: @Yes! @I’m not in danger anymore. @This rocks!

Carrie: Next is Lucas’s score!

Erwin: That was honestly an amazing dish. Messy, yes, but delicious. 9 stars.

Miriam: The presentation, I forgot about it upon eating the dish. 10 stars.

Scott: 10 stars. I’d give you 20, but I can’t.

Max: 10 stars.

Chelia: 10 stars.

Missy: This honestly was a moving, mind-blowing dish. 10 stars.

Lucas – 9 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 59/60 stars

Lucas: WHAT?!

Jimmy: @I didn’t think anyone could beat my score, but that was incredible. @He literally was one point away from breaking the record!
Lucas: @It’s going to be really hard to beat that score. @I have a gut feeling I might have won immunity tonight!

Carrie: Fanny, to stay, you need at least 39. To beat Lucas, you’ll need a perfect score. How do you think you did?

Fanny: Well I definitely beat 39. The perfect score, I’m aiming for that, and I hope I delivered it.

Erwin: Well you’ve got a lot of confidence. And I can see why. It was delicious. 10 stars.

Miriam: 10 stars from me as well.

Scott: 10 stars. I could honestly hire you with cooking skills like that.

Max: 10 stars.

Missy: I was genuinely blown away tonight. 10 stars.

Carrie: Chelia, if you score Fanny’s dish another perfect 10, she will receive immunity. What did you think of her dish?

Chelia: Trying it, I loved the creativity. But for me, the black garlic was too much. 7 stars.

Fanny – 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 7 = 57/60 stars

Fanny: @You’re kidding me, right? @This is ridiculous. @I didn’t deserve a bloody 7!

Carrie: So let’s check the leaderboard!

Leaderboard:

Lucas – 59

Fanny – 57

Jimmy – 56

Angelina – 45

Vincent – 42

Judith – 38

Carrie: Judith, for coming in last, you are eliminated from the competition.

Judith: Okay. @I’m sad. @I’m going home and I didn’t make a dish that I wanted to make. @Had I plated that date dish, it would have beaten Vincent, for sure. @I just want a re-do so badly.

Judith leaves the kitchen.

Carrie: Lucas, you won immunity going into the main competition!
Lucas: Awesome! @I won immunity and I got a 59! @It’s so validating!

Carrie: Please help me welcome back the cooks from the other preliminary round.

The first five cooks walk into the judges’s room.

Vanilla: @I see the other team, and I’m relieved. @Nobody here is a weak cook, so I’m relieved about the immunity. @Hopefully, it’ll serve me well.

Olympia: @I’m ready for the next stage in the competition. @Bring it on!
Carrie: So we’ve tallied up the scores in both rounds!

Cumulative Leaderboard:

Lucas – 59

Vanilla – 58

Fanny – 57

Jimmy – 56

Karen – 54

Jackson – 53

Duncan – 47

Angelina – 45

Vincent – 42

Olympia – 37

Carrie: Olympia, Angelina, and Vincent, the three of you are in immediate danger. Please help me welcome to Eliminators!

In walks two boys, Zack and Tadashi, as well as a girl, Leona.

Angelina: Wait, what?!

Leona: @Being an Eliminator, we’re here to take out the original competitors, one by one. @I’m not going home before they are. @I’m going to win this title.

Tadashi: @I don’t think anyone here is going to beat me. @I’ve been trained by the best chefs in California, and that’s going to be my edge. @Bring it on.

Vincent: @I’m not scared about this Eliminator Round. @I’ve worked for Bobby Flay, and I’m excited to be cooking again so soon. @I’m so ready to prove myself.

Carrie: So there will be one more round of competition. The three bottom cooks against our three eliminators. Whoever scores the lowest in this round will be going home, while the highest scorer will receive immunity. I hope you’re ready for an epic showdown!

Lucas: @All I can say is good luck to Angelina and Vincent. @Those two are going to need to really push themselves. @These guys look tough.

Zack: @I’m not going to let one of these bottom feeders take my spot. @They are going to decide amongst themselves who will be joining the three of us in the main competition. @Nobody out of those three are a threat.

Warrior Chef 1: Preliminary Round 1

Preliminary 1

Contestants:
Freshmen:
Cory Giardino: Small Italian-American brunette, living in San Diego, California. Loves to cook Italian food, but is open to using Mexican flavors, something else he’s been raised on. Wants to win the title so that he can gain more opportunities in the industry.
Karen Laverre: Small half French, half German girl from Salt Lake City, Utah. Loves to cook Italian and Asian food, fusing influences from all over the world. Is currently attending culinary school. Wants to open a line of bakeries and restaurants.

Sophomores:
Jackson Perez: Tall blonde with brown eyes. Was a tennis player before he learned how to cook from his grandma. Cooks French-American cuisine. Wants to open a restaurant named after his grandma, Rachel.

Juniors:
Vanilla Cuylenberg: Slim girl with orange-auburn pigtails, born in Perth, West Australia, living in Florida. Originally a beauty guru, she learned how to cook from her chef friends. She loves all things fresh produce and and desserts and wants to open a bakery.

Seniors:
Duncan Fosters: Raven haired boy, originally from Toronto, Canada, but currently lives in Dallas, Texas. Loves to hunt for his own meats, and is skilled at cooking game meats and barbecue. Wants to open his own steakhouse, where all the meat is hunted daily.
Silvia-Olympia Judd: Tall girl with long silver hair with purple streaks from Portland, Oregon. Originally an aspiring artist, but found a love for food styling after she was introduced to fine-dining. Wants to open a culinary gallery.

Vanilla: @Haha! @I’m so happy and excited to be cooking in this competition! @I can’t wait to showcase my skills in the kitchen! @Being a former beauty guru, most people think I’m just a pretty face, caked in make-up. @But I’m so much more than that!

Duncan: @I walk into the kitchen, and we’ve got a really interesting bunch of people here. @Vanilla’s this ditzy Australian valley girl, Silvia looks like the quiet, artsy type, Jackson looks like the athlete in the bunch, and then we’ve got Karen and Cory, who both just look like little kids to me.

Carrie: Welcome to Warrior Chef, everybody!

Karen: @I’m the youngest here, being 13 years old. @I’ve got a lot to prove to everyone here, because they’re not going to take me seriously, being only a freshman.

Olympia: @I’m happy to be in the competition, and I’m ready to show off my artistry. @None of my plates will be ugly. @I’m going to clean out the competition.

Carrie: So for tonight’s challenge, it’s simple. Prepare your signature dish. The dish with the highest score wins immunity for that cook in the first round of the main competition. However, the person who makes the lowest scoring dish will be going home at the end of this round.

Cory: @I’m determined to make a good impression tonight, because I don’t want to go home first. @Hopefully, my signature dish will blow the judges away.

Jackson: @I’m confident in my dish tonight. @I’m not going to be the first person going home. @Bring it.

Carrie: You have an hour on the clock, your time starts now!

Cory: @I love cooking Latin food, because I’m from San Diego! @I’m going to use tomatoes in my dish tonight, because it’s a mixture of my Italian roots and my exposure to chilies and spices. @I’m making tomato crudo with tuna ceviche and homemade tortillas. @For my tortillas tonight, I’m preparing them using lard, water, and corn flour. @Hopefully, it comes together beautifully.

Karen: @I want to do something that shows my interest in Asian flavors, but I also want to showcase French and German upbringing that I hold so close to my heart. @I’m preparing a ginger dusted rock cod with confit morel mushrooms, spaetzle, and a lime-pepper butter sauce. @I’m using the rock cod because it’s got a delicate flavor, but a firm flesh, and that’ll pair beautifully with the butter sauce and tender morels.

Jackson: @I love cooking French food, because that’s what my grandma taught me. @I’m preparing grilled lamb lollipops with potato gratin and red wine jus. @I basically need to get the lamb and potatoes into the oven, and then get the jus going too. @It’s a lot of prep in the beginning, but after that, it’s easy sailing. @I’m thinking about how else I can jazz up the dish, but I think this is a passable dish.

Vanilla: @I’m so excited to be cooking, haha! @I learned how to cook and bake under a lot of celebrity chefs in Australia, so I want to prove that this girl from the WA can kick some butt. @I’m making apple-calvados sorbet with brown butter cake, fennel crumble, and salted caramel tuiles. @The biggest competitor, in my eyes, would have to be Jackson. @He looks really confident and he’s butchering that lamb really well.

Duncan: @I’m confident tonight that I can pull off a delicious dish. @I’m using venison, because that’s something I cook a lot of. @The best thing to pair with venison, in my eyes, is cauliflower. @I’m making a cauliflower puree and I’m grilling cauliflower, making a vinaigrette with the cauliflower leaves, and then roasting mushrooms and adding those in there. @This should be an exciting challenge. @Let’s do this.

Olympia: @I grab the lobster because it’s gorgeous and I know how to use it well. @I’m making poached lobster with kiwi-dragon fruit salad and lime butter sauce. @I see that Karen is making a lime butter sauce as well, but I know I can make mine a lot better than she makes hers. @I’m not afraid of the competition. @I’m the oldest person here, and my ability to make beautiful dishes will be my edge. @Nobody else can make dishes as gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing as mine.

Cory: @Shoot. @I try pressing my tortillas, and they crumble apart. @I see that I have only 10 minutes left. @I keep trying it, and I’m wasting time. @Eventually, I just decide to grab the premade tortillas. @I have no other option at this point. @The damn corn flour decided not to work at me tonight, and it’s a shame.

Karen: @Cory’s struggling with the tortillas, and I really feel bad for him. @I can’t really imagine him getting high scores or even decent scores with a raw dish and premade product. @I taste my spaetzle, and it’s tender and al dente, and I know that this is going to be good. @Olympia is also doing a butter sauce with lime in it, so I’m nervous that we’ll be judged head to head. @I just need to make sure mine tastes better. @I taste it, and it’s really fatty. @I add some pomelo juice in there, just to get the acidity levels up.

Jackson: @The lamb rack, I get it out of the oven, and slice into it. @It’s perfect medium rare. @The gratin, I push a fork into it, and it’s soft. @Perfect. @I taste my sauce, and it’s delicious. @I mount some butter in there, and I know that the texture is going to be where I want it to be. @Looking around the kitchen, I see some interesting things happening in Duncan and Karen’s stations.

Duncan: @I get the rack out of the oven, and I slice into it. @It’s medium. Sh*t! @I overcooked it. @There’s no salvaging this. @I taste my puree, and it’s good. @The salad, I taste the bits together, and it’s good as well. @I know my other components will be good, so maybe I’ll get another chance to prove myself.

Olympia: @Duncan overcooked his venison, and I’m just thinking he’s screwed. @I check the lobster, and it’s cooked through. @The salad looks gorgeous, with the colors of the green kiwi and the white dragon fruit. @I’m going to serve the entire dish in the dragon fruit shell, because I want that theatre to be there. @It’s going to be gorgeous.

Carrie: Time’s up!

Duncan: @I’m feeling decent about my dish. @The imperfect venison is going to cost me, but the rest of the dish is spot-on.

Cory: @Not getting the homemade tortillas plated, it sucks so much. @I could have made a perfect dish, and this just ruined it.

Carrie: Your judges are:
Aster Walker – renowned food critic in Los Angeles

Kierra Johnston – renowned food critic in Chicago/the Great Lakes area

Guy Flannigan – famous food television personality

Lotte Amazo – award-winning cookbook author from the UK

Frank Torres – award-winning pastry chef from New York

Chloe Lula – renowned vegan/vegetarian cooking expert

Carrie: So let’s start with the signature dish by Cory!

Cory – tomato crudo with ceviche and homemade tortillas

Kierra: The crudo and ceviche were both delicious. But the tortillas, they taste frozen and premade. He definitely didn’t make his own tortillas.

Lotte: I would want to give him a decent score for the crudo and ceviche, but what real technique has he shown? Two raw components and something out of a packet.

Frank: I have to agree. Had he made the tortillas like he promised, this dish would have been stellar. It’s a real shame.

Carrie: Next is Karen’s dish!

Karen – ginger dusted rock cod, confit morels, spaetzle, citrus-pepper butter sauce

Guy: The cod was cooked impeccably. The confit morels, it had a beautiful, crunchy exterior and a nice, silky interior. The sauce, it was a nice, acidic punch.

Aster: She made spaetzle, confit mushrooms, and prepared a butter sauce on top of cooking cod perfectly. If I had to criticize, the dish was on the fatty side.

Chloe: The ginger added a nice heat, and I enjoyed the flavors in her dish. My cod was cooked perfectly as well, and I’m impressed by that. I just wanted more of that sauce.

Carrie: Next up is Jackson’s signature dish!

Jackson – grilled lamb chops, potato gratin, red wine jus

Lotte: The lamb chops were beautifully cooked. The gratin was nice as well. The red wine jus, nice flavors in there. It was a solid dish.

Guy: For me, the thing I’m faulting is the concept. He basically chucks two components in the oven and reduces one over the stove. What else was he doing with his time?

Frank: Regardless of how he managed his time, the dish I received was delicious and I really enjoyed the flavors of it.

Carrie: And now we’ve got Vanilla’s dessert.

Vanilla – apple-calvados sorbet, brown butter cake, fennel crumble, salted caramel tuile

Frank: Wow. This was probably one of the prettiest desserts I’ve seen. I’m tired of eating cakes, but her cake, it’s moist, fluffy, and the brown butter really does come through. The salted caramel tuile, with that fresh sorbet, and the crumble, it was delicious.

Kierra: We’re hitting really close to perfection with this dessert. My cake was on the drier side, but the rest of the components were beautiful. The crumble, in particular, I could eat that by the fistful. It was spectacular.

Aster: The fennel crumble was the standout for me. My cake was moist, and I really enjoyed the presentation, being very whimsical and almost magical, with the caramel tuiles dancing off the quenelle of sorbet and the soil-like crumble. It was a gorgeous dessert and that’s what I loved about it.

Carrie: Next up is Duncan’s dish.

Duncan – venison loin, cauliflower puree, grilled cauliflower-mushroom salad

Chloe: My biggest complaint would be the venison loin. It’s overcooked. But the seasoning on the meat was beautiful. The cauliflower puree was silky and smooth.

Frank: The mushroom salad was probably one of the most complex components I’ve had so far. The earthiness of the mushrooms and the vibrant cauliflower flavor was nice.

Lotte: The venison loin just needed to be cooked less, and this would have been the standout dish tonight. It’s a hard protein to cook, so it’s just a shame he succumbed to it.

Carrie: And finally, Olympia’s dish!

Olympia – poached lobster, kiwi-dragon fruit salad, lime butter sauce

Aster: The lobster was cooked beautifully. The presentation, it was very provocative. The lime butter sauce was delicious as well. But the kiwi salad, it just got lost.

Kierra: I thought it was bizarre to plate the entire dish in the dragon fruit shell. But that being said, the lobster was cooked nicely. And I liked the lime butter sauce a lot.

Guy: It was two highs and two lows. The highs were obviously the lobster and the sauce. The salad, just why did she plate that directly in the sauce? It was lost in the butter flavor. And the choice to plate it all in the shell, it just pooled and got soggy.

Carrie: So can we finish scoring everyone’s dishes?

Chloe: Yeah, absolutely.

In walks the cooks.

Carrie: So only five of you will be continuing to the next stage of the competition. Let’s start with Karen’s score.

Aster: Karen, the cod was cooked beautifully. 9 stars.

Kierra: I wanted a little more acidity, but the rest was nice. 9 stars.

Guy: I gave you… 9 stars.

Lotte: I was really impressed. 9 stars.

Frank: You put up a strong dish overall. 9 stars.

Chloe: Just one tablespoon of sauce would have made it perfect. 9 stars.

Karen – 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 54/60 stars

Karen: Wow! @I got a pretty solid score from the judges tonight. @I hope nobody can beat that score. @Immunity is really important.

Carrie: Next is Cory’s score!

Aster: The ceviche and crudo were good. But there wasn’t a lot of technique. 6 stars.

Kierra: The lack of a homemade tortilla made the difference. 6 stars.

Guy: I’m not going to be as forgiving. 5 stars.

Lotte: 5 stars for a half-completed dish.

Frank: I’m giving you… 5 stars.

Chloe: 6 stars.

Cory – 6 + 6 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 6 = 33/60 stars

Cory: @Oh shit @That’s 21 stars between me and Karen. @I’m going home tonight.

Carrie: Now we’ve got Jackson’s score!

Aster: It was a delicious dish. 9 stars.

Kierra: 9 stars.

Guy: I just felt like you could’ve pushed yourself more. 8 stars.

Lotte: 9 stars.

Frank: It was a nice-tasting dish. 9 stars.

Chloe: I wanted more technique, but your dish had good flavors. 9 stars.

Jackson – 9 + 9 + 8 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 53/60 stars

Jackson: @Damn. @I got beat by just one star. @I thought I did enough.

Carrie: And next up is Vanilla’s score!

Aster: It was a beautiful dish. 10 stars.

Kierra: My cake was dry, but I loved the rest of it. 8 stars.

Guy: 10 stars for a gorgeous dessert.

Lotte: 10 stars. That was easily the best dish tonight.

Frank: 10 stars.

Chloe: I gave your dish… a perfect 10 stars.

Vanilla – 10 + 8 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 58/60 stars

Vanilla: Wow! @I got a 58?! @It was so close to being a perfect score! @I really wished that I could have beaten the pre-existing record of 59, but this is pretty awesome.

Karen: @I wanted immunity, but at least I’m safe for this round.

Carrie: Now we’ve got Duncan’s score!

Aster: Venison was… overcooked. But the rest was delicious. 8 stars.

Kierra: 8 stars for a decent dish.

Guy: I think your dish showed a lot of promise. My venison was medium well. 7 stars.

Lotte: 8 stars.

Frank: I wanted to give you more, but the venison was dry. 8 stars.

Chloe: 8 stars.

Duncan – 8 + 8 + 7 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 47/60 stars

Duncan: @I mean, it’s more than 33, but if I got less than 33, I would probably quit the competition and go back home.

Carrie: Cory, you are still in last place. Olympia, you need at least 34 stars to stay in the competition, and 59 stars to beat Vanilla for first place. Judges?

Aster: The dish just had a weird composition to it. 6 stars.

Kierra: I liked your lobster and the sauce. But the rest wasn’t good. 6 stars.

Guy: I could appreciate the creativity, but it needed balance. 6 stars.

Lotte: I thought the presentation was unique and it expressed your personality. 7 stars.

Frank: 6 stars.

Carrie: Olympia, that currently gives you 31 stars. To beat Cory and remain in the competition, you need at least 3 more stars from Chloe. In the case of a tie, it will be put to a vote.

Olympia: @I only need 3 more stars. @The judges so far might not have loved the dish, but they still gave me between 6-7 stars. @I doubt Chloe is going to give me anything less than that range.

Cory: @I’m freaking out right now, because I know that I’m a goner tonight. @Damn those tortillas.

Chloe: It didn’t wow me, but it had memorable components. 6 stars.

Olympia: 6 + 6 + 6 + 7 + 6 + 6 = 37/60 stars

Carrie: So let’s look at the leaderboard!

Vanilla – 58

Karen – 54

Jackson – 53

Duncan – 47

Olympia – 37

Cory – 33

Carrie: Vanilla, you retained first place, and you’ll receive immunity! Congratulations!

Vanilla: Haha! @I’m so happy right now! @I just won immunity! @I can’t go home in the first round of the main competition, and that’s a huge relief.

Carrie: Cory, unfortunately, you’ll be going home tonight. Please return to the kitchen and leave.

Cory: Thank you for this opportunity, and judges, I’m sorry about the tortillas. If I ever get a chance to cook again, I’ll be sure not to let that happen. @Leaving so early sucks! @I wanted to prove that even though I’m 14, I can cook really delicious food. @It’s pretty embarrassing, and I just know I could have done better.

Karen: @Seeing Cory go home, it does suck a lot. @I wanted him to stay, and help me represent the freshmen. @Oh well, I just have to do my best on my own.